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1.
Nat Neurosci ; 24(11): 1522-1533, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500484

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can damage cerebral small vessels and cause neurological symptoms. Here we describe structural changes in cerebral small vessels of patients with COVID-19 and elucidate potential mechanisms underlying the vascular pathology. In brains of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected individuals and animal models, we found an increased number of empty basement membrane tubes, so-called string vessels representing remnants of lost capillaries. We obtained evidence that brain endothelial cells are infected and that the main protease of SARS-CoV-2 (Mpro) cleaves NEMO, the essential modulator of nuclear factor-κB. By ablating NEMO, Mpro induces the death of human brain endothelial cells and the occurrence of string vessels in mice. Deletion of receptor-interacting protein kinase (RIPK) 3, a mediator of regulated cell death, blocks the vessel rarefaction and disruption of the blood-brain barrier due to NEMO ablation. Importantly, a pharmacological inhibitor of RIPK signaling prevented the Mpro-induced microvascular pathology. Our data suggest RIPK as a potential therapeutic target to treat the neuropathology of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Blood-Brain Barrier/metabolism , Brain/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/metabolism , Microvessels/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Blood-Brain Barrier/pathology , Brain/pathology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Cricetinae , Female , Humans , Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/genetics , Male , Mesocricetus , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Mice, Transgenic , Microvessels/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells
2.
Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med ; 29(1): 155, 2021 Oct 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486111

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a highly contagious airborne virus inducing pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This is most relevant for medical staff working under harmful conditions in emergencies often dealing with patients and an undefined SARS-CoV-2 status. We aimed to measure the effect of high-class filtering facepieces (FFP) in emergency medical service (EMS) staff by analyzing seroprevalence and history of positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for SARS-CoV-2. METHOD: This observational cohort study included workers in EMS, who were compared with hospital staff (HS) and staff, which was not directly involved in patient care (NPC). All direct patient contacts of EMS workers were protected by FFP2/N95 (filtering face piece protection class 2/non-oil-based particulates filter efficiency 95%) masks, whereas HS was protected by FFP2/N95 exclusively when a patient had a proven or suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection. NPC was not protected by higher FFP. The seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was analyzed by immunoassay by end of 12/2020 together with the history of a positive PCR. In addition, a self-assessment was performed regarding the quantity of SARS-CoV-2 positive contacts, about flu symptoms and personal belief of previous COVID-19 infections. RESULTS: The period in which contact to SARS-CoV-2 positive patients has been possible was 10 months (March to December 2020)-with 54,681 patient contacts documented for EMS-either emergencies (n = 33,241) or transportation services (n = 21,440). Seven hundred-thirty (n = 730) participants were included into the study (n = EMS: 325, HS: 322 and NPC: 83). The analysis of the survey showed that the exposure to patients with an unknown and consecutive positive SARS-CoV-2 result was significantly higher for EMS when compared to HS (EMS 55% vs. HS 30%, p = 0.01). The incidence of a SARS-CoV-2 infection in our cohort was 1.2% (EMS), 2.2% (HS) and 2.4% (NPC) within the three groups (ns) and lowest in EMS. Furthermore, the belief of previous COVID-19 was significant higher in EMS (19% vs. 10%), CONCLUSION: The consistent use of FFP2/N95 in EMS is able to prevent work-related SARS-CoV-2 infections in emergency situations. The significance of physical airway protection in exposed medical staff is still relevant especially under the aspect of new viral variants and unclear effectiveness of new vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergencies , Cohort Studies , Health Personnel , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
3.
Nat Neurosci ; 24(11): 1522-1533, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483143

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can damage cerebral small vessels and cause neurological symptoms. Here we describe structural changes in cerebral small vessels of patients with COVID-19 and elucidate potential mechanisms underlying the vascular pathology. In brains of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected individuals and animal models, we found an increased number of empty basement membrane tubes, so-called string vessels representing remnants of lost capillaries. We obtained evidence that brain endothelial cells are infected and that the main protease of SARS-CoV-2 (Mpro) cleaves NEMO, the essential modulator of nuclear factor-κB. By ablating NEMO, Mpro induces the death of human brain endothelial cells and the occurrence of string vessels in mice. Deletion of receptor-interacting protein kinase (RIPK) 3, a mediator of regulated cell death, blocks the vessel rarefaction and disruption of the blood-brain barrier due to NEMO ablation. Importantly, a pharmacological inhibitor of RIPK signaling prevented the Mpro-induced microvascular pathology. Our data suggest RIPK as a potential therapeutic target to treat the neuropathology of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Blood-Brain Barrier/metabolism , Brain/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/metabolism , Microvessels/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Blood-Brain Barrier/pathology , Brain/pathology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Cricetinae , Female , Humans , Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/genetics , Male , Mesocricetus , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Mice, Transgenic , Microvessels/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells
4.
Acta Neuropathol ; 142(6): 923-936, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1459953

ABSTRACT

As extremely sensitive immune cells, microglia act as versatile watchdogs of the central nervous system (CNS) that tightly control tissue homeostasis. Therefore, microglial activation is an early and easily detectable hallmark of virtually all neuropsychiatric, neuro-oncological, neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases. The recent introduction of novel high-throughput technologies and several single-cell methodologies as well as advances in epigenetic analyses helped to identify new microglia expression profiles, enhancer-landscapes and local signaling cues that defined diverse previously unappreciated microglia states in the healthy and diseased CNS. Here, we give an overview on the recent developments in the field of microglia biology and provide a practical guide to analyze disease-associated microglia phenotypes in both the murine and human CNS, on several morphological and molecular levels. Finally, technical limitations, potential pitfalls and data misinterpretations are discussed as well.

5.
Brain Sci ; 11(8)2021 Aug 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376740

ABSTRACT

Since 2020, the master's program "Multiple Sclerosis Management" has been running at Dresden International University, offering structured training to become a multiple sclerosis specialist. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many planned teaching formats had to be changed to online teaching. The subject of this paper was the investigation of a cloud-based digital hub and student evaluation of the program. Authors analyzed use cases of computer-supported collaborative learning and student evaluation of courses and modules using the Gioia method and descriptive statistics. The use of a cloud-based digital hub as a central data platform proved to be highly successful for learning and teaching, as well as for close interaction between lecturers and students. Students rated the courses very positively in terms of content, knowledge transfer and interaction. The implementation of the master's program was successful despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The resulting extensive use of digital tools demonstrates the "new normal" of future learning, with even more emphasis on successful online formats that also increase interaction between lecturers and students in particular. At the same time, there will continue to be tailored face-to-face events to specifically increase learning success.

6.
Immunity ; 54(7): 1594-1610.e11, 2021 07 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281436

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 can cause severe neurological symptoms, but the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms are unclear. Here, we interrogated the brain stems and olfactory bulbs in postmortem patients who had COVID-19 using imaging mass cytometry to understand the local immune response at a spatially resolved, high-dimensional, single-cell level and compared their immune map to non-COVID respiratory failure, multiple sclerosis, and control patients. We observed substantial immune activation in the central nervous system with pronounced neuropathology (astrocytosis, axonal damage, and blood-brain-barrier leakage) and detected viral antigen in ACE2-receptor-positive cells enriched in the vascular compartment. Microglial nodules and the perivascular compartment represented COVID-19-specific, microanatomic-immune niches with context-specific cellular interactions enriched for activated CD8+ T cells. Altered brain T-cell-microglial interactions were linked to clinical measures of systemic inflammation and disturbed hemostasis. This study identifies profound neuroinflammation with activation of innate and adaptive immune cells as correlates of COVID-19 neuropathology, with implications for potential therapeutic strategies.


Subject(s)
Brain/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Microglia/immunology , Blood-Brain Barrier/immunology , Blood-Brain Barrier/metabolism , Blood-Brain Barrier/pathology , Brain/metabolism , Brain/pathology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Communication , Central Nervous System/immunology , Central Nervous System/metabolism , Central Nervous System/pathology , Humans , Immune Checkpoint Proteins/metabolism , Inflammation , Lymphocyte Activation , Multiple Sclerosis/immunology , Multiple Sclerosis/pathology , Olfactory Bulb/immunology , Olfactory Bulb/metabolism , Olfactory Bulb/pathology , Respiratory Insufficiency/immunology , Respiratory Insufficiency/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism
7.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 644715, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266665

ABSTRACT

Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is very common in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) disease 2019 (COVID-19) and considered as a risk factor for COVID-19 severity. SARS-CoV-2 renal tropism has been observed in COVID-19 patients, suggesting that direct viral injury of the kidneys may contribute to AKI. We examined 20 adult cases with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection requiring ICU supportive care in a single-center prospective observational study and investigated whether urinary markers for viral infection (SARS-CoV-2 N) and shedded cellular membrane proteins (ACE2, TMPRSS2) allow identification of patients at risk for AKI and outcome of COVID-19. Objectives: The objective of the study was to evaluate whether urinary markers for viral infection (SARS-CoV-2 N) and shedded cellular membrane proteins (ACE2, TMPRSS2) allow identification of patients at risk for AKI and outcome of COVID-19. Results: Urinary SARS-CoV-2 N measured at ICU admission identified patients at risk for AKI in COVID-19 (HR 5.9, 95% CI 1.4-26, p = 0.0095). In addition, the combination of urinary SARS-CoV-2 N and plasma albumin measurements further improved the association with AKI (HR 11.4, 95% CI 2.7-48, p = 0.0016). Finally, combining urinary SARS-CoV-2 N and plasma albumin measurements associated with the length of ICU supportive care (HR 3.3, 95% CI 1.1-9.9, p = 0.0273) and premature death (HR 7.6, 95% CI 1.3-44, p = 0.0240). In contrast, urinary ACE2 and TMPRSS2 did not correlate with AKI in COVID-19. Conclusions: In conclusion, urinary SARS-CoV-2 N levels associate with risk for AKI and correlate with COVID-19 severity.

8.
Nat Neurosci ; 24(2): 168-175, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060446

ABSTRACT

The newly identified severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes COVID-19, a pandemic respiratory disease. Moreover, thromboembolic events throughout the body, including in the CNS, have been described. Given the neurological symptoms observed in a large majority of individuals with COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 penetrance of the CNS is likely. By various means, we demonstrate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and protein in anatomically distinct regions of the nasopharynx and brain. Furthermore, we describe the morphological changes associated with infection such as thromboembolic ischemic infarction of the CNS and present evidence of SARS-CoV-2 neurotropism. SARS-CoV-2 can enter the nervous system by crossing the neural-mucosal interface in olfactory mucosa, exploiting the close vicinity of olfactory mucosal, endothelial and nervous tissue, including delicate olfactory and sensory nerve endings. Subsequently, SARS-CoV-2 appears to follow neuroanatomical structures, penetrating defined neuroanatomical areas including the primary respiratory and cardiovascular control center in the medulla oblongata.


Subject(s)
Brain/virology , COVID-19/virology , Olfactory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Central Nervous System , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Smell/physiology , Virus Internalization
10.
Nat Neurosci ; 24(2): 168-175, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-952133

ABSTRACT

The newly identified severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes COVID-19, a pandemic respiratory disease. Moreover, thromboembolic events throughout the body, including in the CNS, have been described. Given the neurological symptoms observed in a large majority of individuals with COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 penetrance of the CNS is likely. By various means, we demonstrate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and protein in anatomically distinct regions of the nasopharynx and brain. Furthermore, we describe the morphological changes associated with infection such as thromboembolic ischemic infarction of the CNS and present evidence of SARS-CoV-2 neurotropism. SARS-CoV-2 can enter the nervous system by crossing the neural-mucosal interface in olfactory mucosa, exploiting the close vicinity of olfactory mucosal, endothelial and nervous tissue, including delicate olfactory and sensory nerve endings. Subsequently, SARS-CoV-2 appears to follow neuroanatomical structures, penetrating defined neuroanatomical areas including the primary respiratory and cardiovascular control center in the medulla oblongata.


Subject(s)
Brain/virology , COVID-19/virology , Olfactory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Central Nervous System , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Smell/physiology , Virus Internalization
11.
Science ; 370(6518): 856-860, 2020 11 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-883299

ABSTRACT

The causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). For many viruses, tissue tropism is determined by the availability of virus receptors and entry cofactors on the surface of host cells. In this study, we found that neuropilin-1 (NRP1), known to bind furin-cleaved substrates, significantly potentiates SARS-CoV-2 infectivity, an effect blocked by a monoclonal blocking antibody against NRP1. A SARS-CoV-2 mutant with an altered furin cleavage site did not depend on NRP1 for infectivity. Pathological analysis of olfactory epithelium obtained from human COVID-19 autopsies revealed that SARS-CoV-2 infected NRP1-positive cells facing the nasal cavity. Our data provide insight into SARS-CoV-2 cell infectivity and define a potential target for antiviral intervention.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Neuropilin-1/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Caco-2 Cells , Female , HEK293 Cells , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Male , Metal Nanoparticles , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mutation , Neuropilin-1/chemistry , Neuropilin-1/genetics , Neuropilin-1/immunology , Neuropilin-2/metabolism , Olfactory Mucosa/metabolism , Olfactory Mucosa/virology , Pandemics , Peptide Fragments/metabolism , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
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